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Emerging East 15 talent features in new lockdown festival

  • Date

    Wed 1 Jul 20

Andrea Lavio and Mateus Monteiro, both wearing black, standing on either side of a wooden table, facing one another

Six final-year students from East 15 Acting School will be showcasing their talents this month at a brand new online theatre festival designed to promote emerging stars in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online performances of two works, The Internship and Cybergame, will feature in the Digitally Charged festival at Tramshed.

Both shows were originally created for the students’ final-year practical projects.

“The show was created by all four of our cast as an ensemble show,” explained Kit Brenson, one of four BA Acting and Stage Combat students behind Cybergame.

“We all worked on developing our own characters and storylines.”

Created in just two weeks, Cybergame explores themes of cyberbullying, online harassment, violations of privacy and the consequences of actions.

The interactive online show, inspired by escape rooms and performed via Zoom, follows four seemingly unconnected people brought together by a character called Anonymous.

It was created by Kit Brenson, Luke Heys, Veronika Vas and Charlotte Yates, and will be shown at Digitally Charged on 17 July.

Charlotte said: “We’re super excited. We’re thankful to be able to continue to perform whilst our industry is in the position that we find ourselves in today.”


Cybergame, clockwise (from left): Kit Brenson, Veronika Vas, Luke Heys and Charlotte Yates)
Cybergame, clockwise (from left): Kit Brenson, Veronika Vas, Luke Heys and Charlotte Yates

Despite facing challenging times, the team continue to audition and are confident their East 15 training will help them succeed: “East 15 has helped us to become fully rounded performers, with a strong sense of forward direction. We strive for what we want and are determined not to let our industry die,” said Luke.

“We’ve learnt the full process of creating our own work from nothing to a final show, which will allow us moving forward to be creative even in situations like the one we find ourselves in,” added Veronika.

The Internship, by Andrea Lavio and Mateus Monteiro who are graduating in MA Directing, was devised in just 12 hours.

With no written script, the show has been devised in collaboration with the three actors who feature, Daniel Eslick, Anant Varman and Zaquis Webb, all MFA Acting students at East 15.

Performed as a mockumentary, with horror elements, The Internship will be shown at Digitally Charged on 18 and 19 July.


Andrea Lavio, wearing a white t-shirt and leaning against a brick wall
"Even though it was a student production, we treated it as a professional piece. It is gratifying to have our efforts paying off and seeing the industry acknowledging the potential of this work."
Andrea Lavio East 15 Acting School

“Even though it was a student production, we treated it as a professional piece,” said Andrea.

“It is gratifying to have our efforts paying off and seeing the industry acknowledging the potential of this work. It definitely boosts our confidence for the future as theatre practitioners.”

Matthew Lloyd, Senior Lecturer at East 15, said: “Digitally Charged celebrates the amazing range of innovative solutions that theatre makers have found to the challenges of lockdown.

“Just as the wider performing arts industry is having to adapt technology to reach out to and entertain audiences, so East 15 has spent the last three months reinventing its drama training and reframing the creative projects that students undertake to develop their skills and showcase their talent.

“These pieces are great examples of the imaginative daring that East 15 is proud to foster and they show the sort of ground-breaking work that can be achieved when live performance transfers online."